Welcome to the UFC: Joaquin Buckley

Joaquin Buckley Bellator MMA
Joaquin Buckley Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

August 8 will see the UFC back at the Apex arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 6, headlined between Derrick Lewis and Alexey Oleinik. Also on the card is Chris Weidman, Tim Means, and Beneil Dariush. Last week Kevin Holland was supposed to fight Trevin Giles but Giles had a medical issue and had to pull out. Holland was ready to fight so now he will fight this weekend against newcomer Joaquin Buckley.

Joaquin “New Mansa” Buckley
St. Louis, Missouri, US
Finney’s HIT Squad

How will Buckley fare in the UFC:

Joaquin Buckley is a talented fighter with only two career losses. One to Logan Storley who is an excellent prospect and the other to Jackie Gosh who he later beat in a rematch.

Buckley is an explosive power puncher relying on his striking first. He will wrestle at times and has exceptional grappling, hardly having any trouble passing guard at all. He’s not a submission threat but he’s got good ground and pound. I wouldn’t rate his ground game overall highly but he’s well versed at least for his age.

When it comes to Buckley’s hands, they’re solid. Everything he throws is to knock you out. He fights in flurries exploding in throwing multiple-strike combinations. He covers a lot of distance quickly with his speed and explosiveness and stepping right back out of the way. Where he struggles mainly is takedown defense. When coming in, Buckley does tend to overreach leaving himself open to counters. As noted above his takedown defense is his biggest flaw but I don’t think it’s that much of an issue. He was taken down relentlessly by Logan Storley but that’s a high-level wrestler. Even when he is taken down he has the knowledge of what to do, getting back to his feet and having defensively sound grappling defense.

How he matches up with Holland:

Buckley’s biggest chance of victory is by knockout but Holland has taken shots from heavy hitters like Geoff Neal and Thaigo Santos. Ergo he should be able to take anything Buckley throws at him. Holland is the much bigger fighter with a six-inch height advantage and an eight-inch reach advantage. Buckley fights in bursts so no way do I see him finding his range in this fight. A confident pick in Holland.

The bet I like is over 1.5 rounds at -108. I definitely don’t see Buckley finishing Holland. On the other side, Holland could very well finish but I don’t see it in within a round and a half. What I do see is a finish like the submission prop from Holland at +215.